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Why our kids are not out of pocket.

Byline: By Alison Dargie

Parents in the North give their children more pocket money than anywhere else in the country, a survey has revealed.

Youngsters in the region are handed an average of pounds 3.47 a week compared to the national average of pounds 3.10 ( and when they hit their teens they can expect to pocket a handy pounds 7.57.

In total, Britain's seven to 14-year-olds take in a total of more than pounds 1.5bn a year in pocket money and hand-outs with 83pc of seven to 10-year-olds saying they get pocket money from their family

The poll of 6,000 children carried out by Mintel found most pocket money went on toys and games, followed by crisps, sweets and chocolate with older children splashing out on clothes, music and toiletries.

For some North-East parents, giving their children pocket money is a way of making up for the treats they themselves never got, but others see it a an early lesson in money management.

Mother-of-three, Denise Ford, a civil servant from Wingrove road, Fenham, described her pocket money policy as "generous but sensible."

She doles out pounds 5 a week to her nine-year-old son Calvin ( with the proviso that he buys all his own ice-cream and books ( and pounds 5 to 12-year-old Fenella.

Her oldest daughter, Corrina, 13, has worked out she does better not having pocket money but asking for cash when she needs it for cinema tickets or treats.

Mrs Ford said: "I think I'm quite sensible with pocket money and they're quite sensible about how they spend it ( they don't just waste it.

If Calvin wants more money for a special toy he will ask for an advance and then go without for a week.

"I'm seriously considering letting them manage the family budget for a week to see how they get on."

As a child, Mrs Ford was given half-a-crown a week which was enough for a bottle of pop, a bar of Dairy Milk and a couple of Black Jacks.

Craig Stevenson, 32, a supervisor form Ponteland Road, in the West End, admitted he was generous with his three children but insisted he stopped short of spoiling them. He and wife, Susan, hand out pounds 3 a week to daughter Jade, 10, and pounds 2.50 a week to Craig, eight. At just one week old, baby Talia isn't on the list quite yet.

Mr Stevenson said: "When I was a child I didn't get any pocket money and I like to give them the things I never had. They're not spoilt children, they are always grateful and they do things round the house to earn their pocket money.

"I think pocket money is a good idea because it teaches children the value of money."

Chris Gray, 31, an internet advisor, from West Percy Road, North Shields, said there's no need to give his two sons, Dalton, five, and Ethan, two, pocket money ( because they get everything they want bought for them anyway.

He said: "I don't see the point of giving children money, they would only waste it on sweets and damage their teeth.

"If they want anything they just say `dad I want that' and that's it. I probably spend about pounds 30 a week on treats for the pair of them."
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 2, 2004
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